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Treasure in an Oatmeal Box

post written by Emma Filbrun

Title: Treasure in an Oatmeal Box
Author: Ken Gire
Major Themes: Mental Handicaps, Special Needs Children, Family Read-alouds, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: In learning to love and appreciate her special needs twin brother, Kim learns to love and trust God more, as well.

Some 25 years ago, when I ran a small bookstore, I remember seeing, in a catalog, a book titled Treasure in an Oatmeal Box. I thought it sounded interesting, but never had a chance to read it. A few months ago when I was at a secondhand shop, I found a copy of this book, so brought it home, and not too long ago, one of my sons chose it for me to read aloud. We were all quite impressed with this story.

Kim and Kevin and their family have just moved from Texas to North Carolina, and the twins must start going to a new school and make new friends. However, Kevin, who was born with a mental handicap, has a hard time coping, and that makes it hard for Kim, who is tempted to resent him. The puppy they find injured on the first day of school becomes Kevin’s best friend—and saves his life when a bear attacks the boy.

Gradually, Kim learns to truly love and care for her brother, and he unconditionally loves her. When Christmas draws near, she helps him prepare gifts for everyone he wants to show love to. And then, the most unexpected event happens. Through everything that happens, Kim, especially, learns to love and trust God more.

Treasure in an Oatmeal Box helped my children to understand children who are a little different, better. It is a well-done story of the way a brother and sister should love and understand each other. It helps children to see the things they can learn from and appreciate about special needs children, without putting them down in any way. All my children who listened to this story said it is a very good story. It will definitely be on the list of books that really stand out from this year’s reading!

WARNING: In chapter 4, Kevin finds the school bully smoking. In chapter 7, Kim attacks the school bully, and then the dog does, too. In chapters 9-11 Kevin’s life is threatened by a bear. Chapter 14 should be previewed by a parent.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12


Links to buy Treasure in an Oatmeal Box:

Amazon: Paperback

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Mental Handicaps, Special Needs Children, Family Read-alouds, Christian Fiction

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